It was a busy weekend for Kilkenny athletics, both indoors and outdoors, with plenty of competition at home and across Leinster.
Saturday got up and running when Athlone hosted the opening round of the Leinster juvenile indoor championships, with the AAI Open Games taking centre-stage at the same venue on Sunday. Sunday was also county cross-country day, with athletes heading to Gowran for the juvenile relays and the intermediate championships for senior athletes.
Kilkenny clubs made a huge impact in the Leinster relay races in Athlone. Kilkenny City Harriers (KCH) maintained their strong tradition in the relays, collecting five sets of team gold along with silver and bronze.
St Joseph’s were also very pleased with their medal haul, picking up two sets of gold and two sets of bronze medals. Team medals were also brought home by St Senan’s and Thomastown.
The St Joseph’s boys’ under-12 team were first on the podium, earning bronze medals in a close finish. At under-13 level it was Thomastown who helped themselves to a medal finish when the girls’ team won silver.
The St Joseph’s under-14 boys’ team were the first team to win a race, starting the Kilkenny gold rush. The KCH girls took gold at under-15 level, with St Senan’s winning silver in the same race. There was another gold for the KCH under-16 girls, with the boys’ team earning bronze.
At under-17 level the KCH girls struck gold again, while a fine performance saw St Joseph’s pick up the bronze medals. The St Joseph’s girls won gold at under-18 level, with KCH having to settle for the silver. The city club’s under-18 boys’ team collected gold in their race, as did the girls’ under-19 squad.
There was also some success in the individual races. At under-14 level there were gold medals for Oisin Griffin (St Joseph’s) in the 800m event and Nicky Connolly (Castlecomer) in the walk. Adam Fitzpatrick (KCH) was a silver medal winner in the boys’ under-15 800m, with Isabel Morgan (St Senan’s) taking silver in the girls’ under-16 walk.
The county’s juniors, seniors and masters will all be in action in their Leinster championships this weekend at the AIT Arena.
A number of Kilkenny athletes featured at the AAI Indoor Games in the Athlone Arena on Sunday.
Ciara Everard, competing in the international women’s 800m race in the colours of UCD, finished second in a time of 2.04.69. Ciara’s brother Eoin was fourth in the men’s international 3,000m race, finishing in an excellent time of 8 minutes 14 seconds.
In the senior high jump Gowran juvenile athlete Donagh Manning cleared a height of 2m 8cm. That was enough for third place overall, but also saw Manning set a new Irish youths record for the high jump indoors.
Sunday’s cross-country championships started in Bramblestown with an open 200m race for the under-8 age groups. Sarah Foley (St Joseph’s) won the girls’ race while Liam O’Dwyer of the host club Gowran won the boys’ race.
The juvenile relay races, run on a 250m circuit, were a source of great excitement for the young athletes, their supporters and parents. It was a good day for Thomastown AC, as their teams won gold in four races.
There were also races for senior athletes at the county intermediate grade.
There was a small turnout for the women’s 3km race, which started rather cautiously with all the athletes in a bunch for the first half lap of the two and a half lap course.
First to break from the group was Thomastown’s Sinead Whelan, who was quickly followed by Catriona Corr (KCH).
The two athletes opened a considerable gap on the bunch, with Whelan making the pace. In the last lap the KCH athlete proved strongest, opening up a gap for a comfortable victory.
Gowran’s Charlotte Hurst finished third place to claim the individual bronze medal. With Anne Marie O’Grady fourth, Sheila O’Callaghan sixth and Karen Ryan seventh the Harriers also took home the women’s shield as top team.
Twenty-four athletes lined up to face the starter in the men’s 8km race. Right from the gun Paul Moran (KCH) went for broke and quickly opened a 50m gap during the first lap. However, Thomastown junior Sean Power saw Moran was getting away too easily and decided to give chase.
Despite the recent inclement weather the course, though challenging, was full of running. This suited both of the lead athletes, who swiftly opened a considerable gap on the third-placed Ed O’Keeffe (KCH).
Run over six and a half laps, as the race went on the Thomastown athlete edged ever closer to the KCH front-runner, narrowing the gap considerably towards the end of the second last lap.
This seemed the signal for Moran to surge on, opening another gap to secure what was a hard-fought victory. Power had to settle for the silver medal, with Ed O’Keeffe maintaining third place to secure the bronze.
With John Carey and Padraig Daly finishing in ninth and tenth positions KCH won team gold and retained the Intermediate Shield. Thomastown had excellent runs from James Power (fourth) and Danny Shanahan (seventh) and, along with Bill Carroll in 17th place, took the team silver medals. Host club Gowran had to settle for the bronze medals. Their scoring team was Lyndon Barcoe, Marty Mosley, Colin Tobin and David Dempsey. St Joseph’s finished fourth in the team category.
Results, county cross-country (club code: CC = Castlecomer, G = Gowran, KCH = Kilkenny City Harriers, SJ = St Joseph’s, SS = St Senan’s, TT = Thomastown)
Girls’ U-8: 1 Sarah Foley (SJ). Boys’ U-8: 1 Liam O’Dwyer (G).
Girls’ U-10: 1 Thomastown, 2 Castlecomer, 3 St Senan’s/KCH. Boys’ U-10: 1 St Joseph’s, 2 Thomastown, 3 Castlecomer, 4 St Senan’s, 5 KCH, 6 Gowran.
Girls’ U-12: 1 Thomastown, 2 KCH, 3 St Joseph’s, 4 Gowran, 5 Castlecomer, 6 KCH, 7 Castlecomer. Boys’ U-12: 1 Thomastown, 2 Gowran, 3 Castlecomer, 4 Mixed team.
Girls’ U-14: 1 Thomastown, 2 Thomastown, 3 Castlecomer, 4 Castlecomer. Boys’ U-14: 1 Castlecomer, 2 Castlecomer, 3 Gowran. Boys’ U-16: 1 Castlecomer. Intermediate Women: 1 Catriona Corr (KCH), 2 Sinead Whelan (TT), 3 Charlotte Hurst (G), 4 Anne Marie O’Grady (KCH), 5 Niamh O’Shea (TT), 6 Sheila O’Callaghan (KCH), 7 Karen Ryan (KCH), 8 Tracey Malone (SJ). Teams: 1 KCH.
Intermediate Men: 1 Paul Moran (KCH), 2 Sean Power (TT), 3 Ed O’Keeffe (KCH), 4 James Power (TT), 5 Luke Morgan (SS), 6 Lyndon Barcoe (G), 7 Danny Shanahan (TT), 8 Marty Mosely (G), 9 John Carey (KCH), 10 Padraig Daly (KCH), 11 Pat Young (KCH), 12 Colin Tobin (G), 13 David Dempsey (G), 14 Michael Ryan (SJ), 15 Rocky Mernagh (SJ), 16 Billy Holden (G), 17 Bill Carroll (TT), 18 Paul Sheehan (SJ), 19 Simon O’Dwyer (G), 20 Michael Power (SJ), 21 Tom McDonald (SJ), 22 Denis Cadogan (KCH), 23 Mick Walsh (G), 24 Denis Cormack (G). Teams: 1 KCH, 2 Thomastown, 3 Gowran, 4 St Joseph’s.
Kilkenny results, Leinster Indoor Championships
Girls’ U-12 relay: 4 KCH, 4 St Joseph’s, 16 Gowran. Boys’ U-12 relay: 3 St Joseph’s
Girls’ U-13 relay: 2 Thomastown, 15 Gowran. Boys’ U-13 relay: 5 St Joseph’s.
Girls’ U-14 relay: 5 St Joseph’s, 6 KCH. Boys’ U-14 relay: 1 St Joseph’s.
Girls’ U-15 relay: 1 KCH. 2 St Senan’s. Boys’ U-15 relay: 6 KCH.
Girls’ U-16 relay: 1 KCH. Boys’ U-16 relay: 3 KCH.
Girls’ U-17 relay: 1 KCH, 3 St Joseph’s. Boys’ U-17 relay: 4 KCH.
Girls’ U-18 relay: 1 St Joseph’s, 2 KCH. Boys’ U-18 relay: 1 KCH.
Girls’ U-19 relay: 1 KCH.
Girls’ U-14 walk: 3 Sinead O’Keeffe (TT). Boys’ U-14 800m: 1 Oisin Griffin (SJ). Boys’ U-14 walk: 1 Nicky Connolly (CC).
Boys’ U-15 800m: 2 Adam Fitzpatrick (KCH).
Girls’ U-16 walk: 2 Isobel Morgan (SS). Boys’ U-16 1,500m: 6 Luke Fitzpatrick (KCH).
Boys’ U-18 1,500m: 6 Cormac Buggy (G).